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2:03 PM on 09.28.2007

To Jack Thompson: Awwwwwwww SUCKIT!

So I'm sure all of you have heard about Jack Thompson, and I'm sure at least a few of you have heard about his 'sting' operations. If you haven't the idea is that he is sending his 15 year old son into stores to buy M-rated games. I'm assuming that he is doing this to prove that stores don't and will not ID customers buying games, and therefore the system does not work and video games should all be burned in the streets.

Well, I went into Best Buy last night and happened to see a copy of God Hand for $25. I have heard about how unique and challenging it was, which means I will likely love it. So we browsed a bit and when we were ready to leave I went up to the cash to pay for my new game. There's an older lady at the counter, she asked me if I found everything ok then scanned my game, and this is what followed:

Cashier: "Are you 17?"

Me: (thinking she was joking) "Yeah"

Cashier: "I'm sorry but I can't sell you this game unless you're 17 years old"

Me: (even more sure that she was joking) "Heh, yah don't worry I'm 23"

Cashier: "Do you have any ID on you? I'm sorry but you don't look 17"

I then proceeded to hand her my driver's license. She checked it, apologized, and sold me the game. I'm not knocking her, because honestly, she's just doing her job. I did think it was pretty hilarious getting carded at the age of 23 for a video game, though.

So anyways, back to the main point. I feel like people will read about JT's 'sting' operations and think that no retailers enforce the age restrictions based on the game's ratings. I figured I would post this to demonstrate that just because you managed to get your kid to buy an M-Rated game, it doesn't mean no one is enforcing anything. (even though I know I will not reach that group of people from here)   read

10:36 AM on 09.14.2007

MMO PVP Whores: Have You Checked Out Fury?

Videos don't play where I work, so I randomly picked one from Gametrailers :S

Well, I somehow completely missed this title, and I noticed that it is being released next month! I'm a little apprehensive to get excited about a game I have heard so little about so close to it's release date, but after reading up on it, I can't help but get a little excited. The game is hard to describe. It has the mechanics of an MMORPG, mixed with the speed of an FPS. Picture WoWs Battlegrounds and Arenas, on speed, then mix in some Unreal Tournament.

Everything in this game was designed around the idea of PVP. There is no huge world to go questing about, collecting items and experience. Instead, you level up to the maximum level (10) by participating in PVP matches. Experience, gold and items are won through PVP matches, even the 'questing' is done during a match. There is a sanctuary, which you can think of as a town. This is where you can interact with other players and NPCs between rounds, buy and sell items, work on your character builds etc. . .

Something neat that they will be doing is working to create competition between servers. You can practice against people on your own server, but if you want the rewards from battle, you will need to do some cross-server fighting. Rewards are given to the winning and losing team at the end of the match, so you won't have to feel like you are leaving empty handed if you lose. Also, they will be using a matchmaking system to try and pit people against equally matched enemies. Rewards will be given to the best players, guilds, and servers on a weekly, as well as seasonal basis, which should help further promote cross-server competition.

There are currently 4 different game modes, or "Warzones":

Two teams of 16 players - players must collect crystals from NPC creatures moving in the map and bring them to their base. The Enemy team can steal crystals from your base. The team that has most crystals after a certain amount of time wins.

A group vs. group situation, it is a team based version of the Bloodbath where two groups must fight each other to the last man.

This game has more in common with titles like Battlefield. Two teams of 32 face off in an epic control point capture mode. Requires team based strategic manoeuvres to conquer the enemy.

This is a free for all mode with thirty-two players in one arena. Kill more than anyone else and stand victorious at the end.

Next up: Incarnations. Basically this is a character build and item set. You can save up to 255 incarnations, and swap them out between matches. The game limits you to one character per account, but with the ability to save and swap builds at any point it shouldn't be an issue at all. The game also does not have strict 'classes'. If you want to be a healer, you can use your points on healing spells. Here is where the player development gets a bit deeper than usual; you can still add any of the other skills you want to, your selection isn't now limited because you chose 'class: Priest'. Basically, you define your class by choosing your skills, as opposed to defining your class and choosing from a subset of skills.

Business Model
Fury is 49.99, and will be completely free to play. There is an optional $10 monthly fee that will bump you up from 'Hero' to 'Immortal' status. Heroes and Immortals will not have any content-related differences. Every Hero and Immortal will be able to use all items, skills, powerups etc... Immortals simply get some perks. What kind of perks? Enough to make me consider paying the fee (and supporting the developper and future content)

Quick travel in the Sanctuaries and Schools

VoIP talk privileges

One additional Item Roll Slot

Extended ďrested gold bonusĒ

Selling privileges on the Auction House

Priority log-in queuing

Entry into weekly and seasonal Ladders

Personal player battle statistics

In-game Customer Service access

Elite access to the test server to preview new content

In the future, additional features will be added for Immortals such as crafting, player housing, special Clan functionality and lots more.

And for the skimmer, here's a quick rundown of some features of Fury:
PvP combat focused - Every development decision focuses on providing players the ultimate in Player vs. Player experience.

Combat with the visceral thrill of an FPS game, and the strategy and depth of an RPG.

A robust matchmaking system that ensures players always fight opponents of equal skill and experience

Classless advancement system for ultimate flexibility - No more gimping your character or being constrained to a specific set of abilities. In Fury you don't choose a class - you define your own!

A game that provides instant action to catch your attention, and the meaningful depth to hold it.

Realm vs. Realm system with literally dozens of other Realms to fight against!

Ladders and tournaments for clans or solo players to prove their worth.

Over 400 abilities, each with 10 unlockable ranks providing near endless possibilities for character advancement and achievement.

No boring PvE grind - go straight into thrilling PvP combat against human-controlled opponents.

An MMO that you can actually achieve things in during your lunchtime.

Next-generation game built on Unreal Engine 3.

Challenge system for fighting with friends, groupmates or clans, for practice or bragging rights.

Final Thoughts
I used to play a lot of Arenas when I played WoW, and the strategic element was huge. The commitment, however, was equally huge. I had to spend so much time in-game, and I was also raiding at the time, and it was just too time-consuming. The mix of this playstyle, with the idea of timed matches, and a little bit of FPS style and speed is really cool. What is even more exciting is how it looks like it's incorporated a lot of neat things to add tons of depth to the game. At this point, I can only hope th game will turn out as good as it could.

As per my usual disclaimer, this is not comprehensive. I only talked about a few of the things I am excited about, and thought that maybe some other people that may have missed it might have their interest piqued.

Fury Preview: The First MMOPvP(OCMODSHOP)
Developer Friday: Fury Hands-on (IGN AU)
Fury Preview - E3 2007 (Ten Ton Hammer)
New impressions on this massive PVP online game. (1Up)   read

11:46 AM on 09.12.2007

Why Are Games So Easy? Pt. 2

When I wrote Pt.1 to this series, I was talking about how games have evolved from small skill-based games with high scores to more story-driven games with lush worlds and believable characters. Today I will be discussing the difference between the difficulty of a game and the difficulty to complete a game.

What makes a game difficult?
In the early days, sometimes it was actually just bad programming or design that made games difficult. I'm sorry, but I honestly can't think of any examples. I will instead refer to Game Design Essentials: 20 Difficult Games. Here is an example of how bad game design can make a game difficult (not to mention frustrating). In The Adventures of Lolo, a puzzle game, a gameplay mechanic is never introduced to the player before it is needed. The move allowed a player to respawn an enemy to a new location, which would allow the player to continue to the next level.

"It's another example of a puzzle game cheating, when theoretically they should play fair and introduce all the essential elements before they become important. To perform the trick: use two shots to destroy a Snakey, or other shootable monster, then push a block over its original space. Most levels this causes the monster to die permanently when it regenerates, but on a few boards it will instead appear elsewhere, usually in a place it would be impossible to put it otherwise."

Not every hard game was a victim of poor design, however. So I go back to some of my favorite challenging games; when I think of what made Contra a difficult game, there are two things that stand out in my mind: reflexes and chaos. Enemies constantly spawned and charged across the screen, sometimes shooting at you along the way. You couldn't just jump a bullet without first checking your jumps trajectory, as well as your landing area. You couldn't just duck under the bullet either; you might get trampled by a newly spawned enemy right behind you. Then again, get the spread gun and you're golden. Probably a better example of this is the notoriously difficult Ikaruga. The amount of onscreen action that you have to pay attention to is enormous. There are hundreds of bullets flying across the screen (half of which can be absorbed, half of which will kill you. You can change your polarity at any point), and it is really distracting from the rest of the level. You need to be able to focus not only on the bullet placement and colour, but while you do this, you also have to watch out for the environment. Lose track of one or the other and you're toast. Oh, and don't forget to shoot ;)

Another thing that will affect the difficulty of a game is limiting the player's resources. Items, weapons, and time are a few things that come immediately to mind. The fewer resources a player has, the more trouble they will have. A situation where a player has an easy time sitting back and waiting for the right time to strike, picking off enemies one by one can be made much more difficult by simply adding (for example) a time constraint, or by limiting the weapons that can be used. While we're on the topic of limited resources, I feel like I need to say something about regenerating health in games. The mechanic that Halo introduced has invaded the FPS genre to the point that it has almost become standard. I personally love this mechanic and I don't think it makes a game easy by default. Just because you can regenerate health in Gears of War, it does not make you invincible. Rush an enemy on Insane difficulty and watch how fast you die.

My last point about what makes a game difficult, and somewhat of a sidenote, is probably the thing I've missed most in the current age of gaming. A well-designed boss battle. You don't seem to see too many of these around any more, but a good boss battle should contain multiple stages, and each stage should have a different 'trick' to figure out. It seems more and more that we are getting boss fights that are just suped-up enemies. (ps, please post your favorite boss battle in the comments if you have one)

What makes a game difficult to complete?

I'm going to use Adventure Island as my example here. It is a fairly basic platform game. You face very static enemies (always in the same location, generally stationary), and on a per-level basis it isn't overly complex, or even difficult. Add a bit of a twist to the game, and it's a bit harder: stay fed. In Adventure Island, as time goes by, your life slowly depletes. You need to collect fruit to stay healthy. This means that you are now racing through the levels to finish before you die.

Now, a couple very common elements that the game included, that make the game insanely difficult to beat:
No saves. Well, to be honest, this was fairly commonplace at the time. You have to play through the entire game to beat it. Once the power is off, you lose all progress, along with all high scores.

Limited Lives. Once again, fairly commonplace at the time, specifically for games with no saves. In Adventure Island, you start the game with 3 lives. Every 50,000 points will net you another life. This comes out to a little less than one extra life per world.

Limited Continues. Now, most games at least have one to three continues. Adventure Island, however, doesn't allow a single continue. You get your 3 lives at the start of the game, and when you have none left, the game is over. Better luck next time, friend.

So, once again we can see that video games have evolved quite a bit. Games were very short, and relied on the difficulty of the game to keep you playing. Modern games aren't all particularly easy, but overall they are much more easy to complete.

This article isn't intended as a comprehensive resource. The comments are there for a reason, if I missed something, or if you disagree with anything I've said (or if you agree), or even if you want to elaborate, feel free! I'm always open to civil discussion.   read

10:14 AM on 09.06.2007

Why Are Games So Easy? Pt.1

I hear plenty of people talking about how much easier games are these days. Is it true? Well, it's not really that simple of a question. Games have changed so much since they first popped up, it's hard to even compare their difficulty. I think there are many different topics and questions related to the change in difficulty of games.

How have games evolved?
What makes a game difficult?
The state of the video games industry
Casual vs. Hardcore (don't worry, what I mean here is accessibility, and it is tied in with the state of the industry)
Can a game be difficult, yet accessible?
Why aren't there any new retro games?
...maybe more will come to mind as I write

I may or may not come back and write about each of these topics, but for now I'm going to talk about how video games have evolved, and how that has affected the difficulty in games.

When video games first emerged, they were small, skill-based games. There was usually very few game mechanics, and each level simply added something to the same base 'level', whether it be more enemies, upgraded enemies, new movement patterns, 'environmental' obstacles, or any combination of these (and others). I'll use Tetris as example, simly because it's a pretty universally known game. The game barely changes at all from when you first start at level 1. The only change that happens when you get to the next level, from a gamelpay perspective, is that the blocks now fall faster. Often times, games didn't even have an 'end', theu just kept getting harder. The whole point of these games wasn't to 'beat the game' or to play through the story, it was simply to get the highest score you could, and if you were really good, to get on the high scores list.

If you look back at early games, if they even had a backstory it was generally one or two sentences long, just to give the player some sort of context. A shift seemed to take place during the 8-bit era, fewer and fewer games had a score, and more and more games started to take on a more modern approach: You play as the protagonist in a story, and have to fight your way to the final boss to beat the game. As technology improved, video games became more and more viable as a form of storytelling then they had ever been. Today, with the power of the XBox 360 and the PS3, developers are able to create huge, immersive worlds, with lifelike characters. This really allows us a much more in-depth and immersive, and sometimes even emotional experience. Games like Half-Life and Bioshock really set the bar in this regard.

So now we aren't aiming for scores, we want to play through a story and that's all well and good. But just because a game is story-based, it doesn't necessarily mean it must be easy, right? No, it doesn't have to be. This discussion leads to even more questions and topics, specifically accessibility in games, and the state of the video games industry. Will I come back and write about that on another day? Maybe, maybe not. You'll have to wait and see.

Whether you agree or disagree, or have something extra to add that I have completely overlooked, leave a comment!   read

9:15 AM on 09.05.2007

Don't Miss These Games (GC,PS2,Xbox)

I have been making an effort to gather games from the last generation that I never got a chance to experience. You know, the games that stand out in peoples minds as truly amazing games. So I decided I would enlist the Dtoid Army to help my cause. I don't know about every game ever made, so let me know what games I (or anyone else) should make a point not to miss. Feel free to include a game for any reason; from pure fun, to amazing story, to beautiful style. I'll start by listing a couple.

Okami (PS2)
Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
Killer7 (GC, PS2)
Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)
Metroid Prime (GC)
Viewtiful Joe (GC, PS2)
Eternal Darkness (GC)
Beyond Good & Evil (PC, GC, XBox, PS2)
Psychonauts (PS2, XBox)
Indigo Prophecy aka Fahrenheit (PS2, XBox, PC)
Skies of Arcadia (*Legends) (DC, *GC)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (XBox)   read

12:13 PM on 08.21.2007

BioShock Limited Edition (with pic goodness)

I just skipped out of work for a few minutes and grabbed my copy of BioShock. Good thing I pre-ordered, because not only was the Limited Edition pre-sold-out, so was the regular copy. I put in my pre-order on Friday for the Limited Edition, just in hopes of actually getting one, and lucky me, I did! My copy is still sealed, so I'm just going to go with what's on the rather large box. Included are:

[i]6" Big Daddy Figurine
Behind the Scenes DVD
Original Moby CD: The BioShock EP
Contest-winning cover art by Cult of Rapture Member Adam Meyer[/i]

The only gripe I have is that the game doesn't come in a tin. Still though, one of my favorite Limited Editions so far. (fuck that stupid Halo 3 helmet, but still <3 Halo)

Like I said, she's still sealed, so only box shots for you!

Welcome to Rapture!

Big Daddy wants to screw you

So... should I keep this thing sealed and play my roommates copy? But then I can't put a Big Daddy on my desk :(

Oh noes, life is hard.   read

11:04 AM on 08.20.2007

Doing My Part To Clog The Internet. EVERYBODY PANIC!!!

Unfortunately, this week there shall be no real review of anything. Sorry retro whores, but I want to complete each game before reviewing it, and NES games can be pretty damn hard to beat sometimes! This week I'm going to do a semi-useless post for you all! Here's what went down this week in gaming at the ... I just realized I have not named my new apartment yet :(

Earlier in the week I was working on Battletoads for the NES. I made it to the fourth level a few times, but that god-damn speeder level is such a kick in the balls; it takes all my lives :( This is an awesome game, but brutally hard. It has co-op, toads and battle. Hopefully one day I will complete this game and will do a full review.

After I did some giving up on Battletoads, I popped in Adventure Island. Guess what? You get 3 lives. No continues, no saves, just 3 lives. Then you restart the entire game. I almost made it to the second boss. I could totally beat this game, I just need time. I just hope it doesn't end up being as long as Adventure Island 2.

Once that was given-up-on, I saw my roommate playing a novel little game. Despite the good things I heard online, I just didn't think the game would be my style.Viva Pinata for the Xbox 360! Wow, what a surprise! Well I ended up going to bed at 3 that night, and my roommate doesn't like it when I play because my sessions are too long. Start a garden, attract wild animals (pinatas), mate said animals, produce variant species, landscape, grow, improve that gamerscore, profit, have fun!

Of course I'm still working on Guitar Hero 2. Currently attempting all songs 5 stars on hard mode. 8 songs left to go. Hoping that by the time I'm done this I'll be able to worm my way through the last set on expert.

I also got paid this week, and aside from finally paying off my PS3 (thanks, Visa!), I picked up a couple older games. I have been wanting to try Killer 7 for a long time now, so I finally picked up a copy for Gamecube. I'm not the biggest fan of Gamecube, but it was one of the Capcom 5 games, so I decided to grab it for Gamecube. I still have a couple games on deck before this one.

I found a used copy of XIII for XBox, and it was $7. I originally downloaded it for PC to play it, and I did enjoy it. I figured I'll play though it again at some point.

Last, but certainly not least. I picked up a new copy of Okami for PS2. I never owned a Playstation before, and have just heard so many good things about this game that I need to try it. I popped it in, started watching the story, then everyone decided they wanted to go to the bar. Haven't gotten back to it yet.

So in conclusion, this is just what my thumbs have been up to. I'll try and actually finish a game this week to review. Hopefully something retro or a little obscure. I won't review Bioshock, I promise. Everyone knows it's kickass, and you don't meed me to tell you again. I would rather shed some light on a great game that was overlooked by the general masses.

My Final Verdict: Mediocre to the Max

What have you guys been playing lately? Anything really good I should check out?   read

9:09 AM on 08.09.2007

EVERYBODY PANIC! Ver 3.0 + Mega Man 4

Itís time for another installment of EVERYBODY PANIC! (you can refer to it by whatever title you please). First Iíll quickly recap all the games Iíve played recently, then go a bit deeper and do one of my pseudo-reviews of a game from one of my favorite franchises, Mega Man 4 for the NES.

So, you might ask ďMike, if you really play video games, what have you been playing all week?Ē. Well, let me tell you!. I put Odin Sphere on the backburner for now. I share my big TV (which has the 360 and PS3 hooked up) with my roommate, and I havenít gotten much chance to play it lately. I originally didnít like the game much, but I finally started getting used to the game mechanics and am enjoying the title much more now. However, Iíd like to play the whole thing through at once, so Iím going to shelf it until I can get a good couple days alone.

I tried to get my Duck Tales on, but I canít seem to get anywhere in that game.

Working on Battletoads, but as there are no saves, and limited continues, it might take me a while to get through. I remember this game from when I was a kid and it was (at the risk of sounding repetitive) one of my favorite franchises. I donít know what it was about the game that I loved so much (maybe 2 player co-op, and all that goofiness?), but it appears it has stood the test of time. Also, I finally made it past the speeder level (something I could not do as a kid). If youíre bored you should bust out the Battletoads, good times to be had for sure.

I picked up a boxed copy of Super C, so naturally I had to blow through the game. What is it about classic Contra games that kicks so much ass? I love it! Not much has changed since Contra, so if you liked the first installment, this is definitely something to check out. Action-Arcade-Alien-Platform-Shooter fun at itís finest.

Well thatís about it for me this week. I picked up a lot of good NES games over the past couple weeks, so I have been trying to get through a few of them. Eventually Iíll get back to some more modern games, and maybe even some SNES or Genesis (I have no TG16 games :( ) Now, since I just wrote a nice big wall of text, Iíll try to keep the Mega Man review short.

Mega Man 4

The year is 200X, years after the events of Mega Man 3, when Dr. Wily was defeated. Dr. Light recieves a message from Russian scientist Dr. Cossack, saying he was gonna own the cityís face with his robots. PEW PEW! Of course Dr. Light canít let that happen so he calls in Mega Man once again.

There are a lot of things that MM4 shares with itís predecessor (MM3). You start off at the main screen, with 8 different robots to choose from (8 different levels). Bright Man, Pharoah Man, Drill Man, Ring Man, Toad Man, Dust Man, Dive Man and Skull Man. While there were a few challenges, I found that the overall difficulty was slightly lower than MM3. Some of the fights (see: Light Man, Toad Man) are extremely simple, and I was able to do a couple levels on my first try.

One of the major changes that comes with MM4 is the ĎMega Busterí which gives you the ability to Ďpower upí your shots. As far as I know, this has become standard in ensuing games. It seems like a fairly simple addition, but it really affects the gameplay a lot. Unfortunately it did make some fights even easier. I also noticed that bosses do not seem to have the Ďrock-paper-scissorsí weaknesses like in MM3. I barely got to use my suits that I stole from the bosses.

Visually, the game looks great. There hasnít really been an improvement since MM3, but you have to admit, that game had some slick visuals for an NES game. Once again though, when there is too much on the screen (which isnít uncommon), there is noticeable slowdown.

The interface for swicthing your suits is one thing that has been greatly improved with this installment of the series. When you pause the game, there is now a full screen menu to select which suit you want to equip. Make your choice, and hit the Start button to continue through the level.

Another neat thing that was done in MM4 was the addition of environmental effects. Hard rain that pushes you back (makes platform jumping tough), a snow level (run slowly though deep snow, icy sections), and even a level that scrolls automatically that you need to keep up with. These things add an interesting twist, and add a little bit of challenge to these specific levels.

Now before you read any more, there are spoilers ahead. Since this game is like 20 years old, you have no right to get mad at me for ruining anything. After you finish the first 8 bosses, you unlock the ĎDr. Chaosí (Dr. Cossack) castle. With 4 new levels and fun bosses to go along with each, you make your way towards Dr. Chaos. Get to the end, fight him, and guess what? Dr Chaos was just under the influence of none other than Dr. Wily! (WTF? Thanks Proto Man!) Well we all though Wily was dead but apparently not. Heís back and heís just as disgruntled as ever. Now you get to do ANOTHER castle. (only 2 more levels this time). Get through, kill all 8 original bosses AGAIN (consecutively). Each kill yields a large energy pickup. Finally! Itís on like Donkey Kong, bitch! So go kill Wily, and then SURPRISE! You get to go to the final, final, final boss! Now currently my NES is at home, turned on, and at this very point in the game. If this is not the final boss I may just shut the fucking thing off and shelf the game for all eternity.

Finally, I preferred the MM3 music, but this soundtrack was ok. That is all.

Oh, and your password saves won't save your energy tanks anymore.

My Final Note: Good sequel to a truly amazing game. Many improvements over MM3, but felt slightly (only slightly) too easy.
My Final Verdict: Must Play

If youíre smart you skipped all that and are just going to read the conslusion, so here it is: I play a lot of NES, and Battletoads, Super C, and Mega Man 4 all kick major ass. MM4 is like MM3, with different music, different levels, a little easier, and an annoying sequence of Ďsurprisesí near the end. Anyone out there into the original Mega Man series as me? Has there been any worthwhile Mega Man games in the past 5 years? Let me know, I would love to check them out!

wall of text crits you for 4567   read

9:30 AM on 08.01.2007

RE5: Start Them Young, Fearing, Hating, Destroying Black People

This was just posted over at Kotaku, but I thought I would post it just so we could discuss it.

Basically, Black Looks (an online community of african women) posted the RE5 trailer and had this to say:

The new Resident Evil video game depicts a white man in what appears to be Africa killing Black people. The Black people are supposed to be zombies and the white manís job is to destroy them and save humanity. ďI have a job to do and Iím gonna see it through.Ē

This is problematic on so many levels, including the depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them youngÖ fearing, hating, and destroying Black people.

I am not trying to say that racism isn't an issue. But did the person that posted this not look into Resident Evil at all? I mean, how many iterations of the game have there been? How many black zombies have you seen before? If it's not OK to kill black zombies, why is it OK to kill white zombies? Also, the trailer is set in Africa (that's what it looks like to me anyway), oh and... THEY'RE FUCKING ZOMBIES!!! I don't give a shit what color they are, they are trying to fucking EAT ME!!!

Also, marketed towards children? Damnit we aren't going to start this again are we?

What do you guys think of this? Assinine, or is this legitimatley 'problematic on so many levels'?

Link to the Kotaku article can be found here

Link to the original article can be found here   read

9:51 AM on 07.31.2007

Read What I Play: NES Edition!

Here I am again, wasting my time talking to the interwebs. I havenít completed any games in the past week or so, but I just got a new load of classic games in, and I canít wait to play a few of them. Anyways, recently I finished Shadow of the Colossus for the first time. Iím not going to spend the time to review it, because honestly, I could not do the game justice. All I will say is My Final Verdict: Must Try. Either that or just have sex with it. Over and over. I fucking loved it.

Now onto something a little different than usual. Like I said, I recently picked up a new load of classic games, one of them being Darkwing Duck for the NES. I still remember playing it as a kid, and I hope I am not seeing this game purely through my nostalgia goggles.

The idea of the game is that you are Darkwing Duck. In case you have not seen the cartoon before, you are a crime-fighting duck. The game was developed by Capcom, and in the 8-bit era, no one made better games. The difficulty level is fairly low, and from what I can tell you have unlimited continues. Not the most Ďhardcoreí of games, but give it a chance.

So you start out in your flying duck machine (I dunno what Darkwing Duckís jet is called, sorry) above the city. There are 3 cries for help coming from various areas in the city, each being a level. At the end of each level is a boss, and after you defeat all the bosses in the area, a new set of levels opens up.

The gameplay is pretty well-done for the most part. Controls feel fluid and there is even the feature to hang off of objects. You can hang from the bottom of any ledge/platform, light fixtures, hooks and many other objects. Use your gas gun to defeat bad guys. Find special gas throughout the levels to help defeaut your enemies (press select to switch to special gas). You can use your cape as a shield by pressing up. Other than that, itís pretty much a jump & gun, and has a very Mega Man-esque feel to it (it is a platformer made by Capcom, after all).

Your health is displayed in the top left of the screen, and each time you are hit, you lose ľ of your heart. Donít worry though, there are plenty of item drops off of bad guys to help replenish your health.

Visually, the game impressed me a little! The game had some pretty good graphics for a NES game, and the settings just felt veryÖ Darkwing Duck?

My Final Thoughts: A fun game, but not very challenging. Similar in gameplay to Mega Man games.
My Final Verdict: Delicious

Have any of you played this game? Let us know what YOU thought about it, or just post about your favorite NES games, or just shower me in compliments, whatever.   read

9:23 AM on 07.27.2007

Read What I Play: Resistance: Fall of Man

Heyo! Iím gonna join this new ďbloggingĒ craze. I love the site, I love video games, so Iím just gonna share my opinions on the games I play. Iíll try to post at least once a week, but it will probably be more like whenever Iím bored at work.

So without any further ado, I present ĎDgenerateís Blogí

Lat week, I decided to pick up a PS3. I wanted to get the cheaper price, and was a little worried about the missing EE chip in the 80GB model. So now I have a PS3 (my roommate has a 360 so Iím not buying one yet). Thanks Visa! The only thing that really looked interesting was Resistance: Fall of Man, which I bought used. I got home, hooked it up and popped in my new game.

Reistance: Fall of Man takes place in a WWII era (in an alternate reality when WWII never happened). A race of weird-looking humanoids appears to destroy the planet. Asia and Europe are a write-off already, and the race of creatures, called the Chimaera, have the UK in their sights. You play as Nathan Hale, an American soldier sent over to help with UKís reinforcements.

You are tossed into battle with your rifle, as waves of Chimaera attack: you kill them and move on to the next checkpoint. There are no health pikups, but after a short amount of play, you are infected by the Chimaera and develop a bit of health regeneration. Health only regenerates to the nearest ľ of your health bar, so to fill back up you eventually need to find health pickups. There is no cover mechanism, but there are plenty of places to take cover that you can poke your head out of. On the flipside, grenades and a shotgun work really well, too.

The level design was good, and there was at least a bit of variety in the levels. Some levels were outdoors, some large and some small indoor areas, and even a Halo-esque vehicle level. There wasnít very much in the way of enemy variety, however. You are pitted against the same enemies throughout most of the game, with a few exceptions.

The game had decent graphics, but after playing titles like Gears of War (you will see a lot of references to Gears in my posts), it felt slightly less-than-next-gen. By no means does it look like a PS2 game, but after hearing all the tales about PS3ís power, I guess I just expected more. (Perhaps UE3 spoiled me)

One of the best parts of the game was the weapons. You start with a standard rifle, but as you progress, you get a lot more high-tech, and exciting weaponry. Iíll start with grenades. First off you have the standard grenade, which doesnít need much explanation. I got a very ĎHaloí feeling when using the shotty + grenades. Next up is the Hedgehog Grenade. Basically a ball of spikes that will explode and clear a small area. Great for clearing out a room. Finally there is the Ďother type of grenade that I donít remember the name ofí. After it lands, it will release some gas for a second or two, then ignite the gas and incinerate the area. This is an awesome weapon and looks amazing when your enemies fall as they burn.

The sniper rifle has a neat feature, where you can slow down time while looking through the scope. This basically guarantees a headshot, but watch out, because you have a sort of Ďstaminaí. If you use the effect too long, you will have to let it cooldown to use it again. The shotgun: think Halo. There was also a gun very similar to the Flak Cannon, that shot particles that reflect off of walls.

Overall great level design and presentation. Most of the stuff in this game has been done before, and the graphics are a little sub-par. If you can overlook these flaws, however, thereís a decent game underneath.

My final note: This is a highly polished, well developed, comepletely standard FPS.
My final verdict: Delicious.

I beat Resistance and then popped in Shadow of the Colossus. Next time Iím bored at work Iíll give you my impressions on that game.   read

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